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Explore whether Mitch Marner will sign a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs or walk away as a free agent next summer.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs navigate the 2024 offseason, the spotlight remains firmly on Mitch Marner and his future with the team. With one year remaining on his six-year, $65.4 million contract, Marner’s status as a potential free agent in 2025 looms large.

The Leafs have a critical decision to make: extend Marner’s contract or risk losing him to free agency next summer.

Will Marner Sign an Extension?

NHL insiders have been abuzz with speculation about Marner’s future. Darren Dreger of TSN suggests that while the Maple Leafs are likely to engage in contract discussions with Marner post-July 1, the actual mechanics of an extension talk are still premature​​. Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet’s “32 Thoughts: The Podcast” has indicated that the Leafs might extend a new contract offer to Marner soon​.

However, the situation is complicated by Marner’s no-movement clause and his significant cap hit of $10.9 million. Any extension would likely see Marner commanding a similar or higher salary, with projections suggesting an eight-year extension at around $11.7 million per year​​. The Leafs need to consider their cap space and the overall team structure before committing to such a deal.

Walking Away as a Free Agent

Despite the Leafs’ apparent interest in retaining Marner, some insiders, like Chris Johnston, believe it is slightly more likely that Marner will walk as a free agent than sign an extension​. The uncertainty stems from several factors, including the team’s performance in the playoffs and Marner’s own career aspirations.

Marner himself has expressed a desire to stay in Toronto and continue his career with the Leafs. However, if the two sides cannot agree on a mutually beneficial contract, Marner may explore free agency options where he would undoubtedly attract substantial offers from other teams​​.

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